Manhattan luxury real estate market softened in the fourth quarter as inventory increased and apartments remained unsold for longer periods.
Although the average sales price hit a record high of $2.098 million, the median price of previously owned condominiums and co-ops fell 9 percent to $1.1 million, according to a report Wednesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The higher average sales price was due to “legacy” contracts, which were signed a year or two ago in ultra-luxury new developments, but only closed last quarter when buildings were completed.
“Maybe we’re heading out of the period when there was no shame in overpricing your home,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “We’re moving away from that and into something more pragmatic: Do you want to actually sell your property or do you want to pretend? Part of selling is pricing correctly or being more negotiable.”
Also, the apartment bidding wars in Manhattan was cooling down. Buyers now have more bargain powers than sellers. Only 12.6 percent of apartments sold were above the asking price in the quarter, down from 29 percent a year earlier, according to the report.
“We saw buyers acting a lot more aggressively with their bidding,” said Pamela Liebman, chief executive officer of brokerage Corcoran Group “They didn’t hesitate to come in and make low offers. A lot of sellers remained unrealistic throughout the year, and that killed a lot of deals.”